Juventus 2-2 Tottenham: Spurs fight back claims edge in last-16 tie

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Tottenham hold the advantage in their Champions League last-16 tie with Juventus after coming from behind to draw 2-2 in a dramatic first leg in Turin on Tuesday.

Spurs were rocked early on as Gonzalo Higuain scored twice inside the opening nine minutes, the first from a quickly-taken free-kick before he struck again from the penalty spot.

But Spurs bossed the rest of the game and Harry Kane pulled a goal back before the interval when he rounded Gianluigi Buffon and slotted into an empty net after being played through by Dele Alli.

Player ratings

Juventus: Buffon (6), De Sciglio (7), Benatia (7), Chiellini (7), Sandro (6), Costa (7), Pjanic (8), Khedira (6), Mandzukic (7), Higuain (8), Bernadeschi (7)

Subs: Sturaro (5), Bentacur (5)

Tottenham: Lloris (7), Aurier (6), Sanchez (7), Vertonghen (7), Davies (6), Dembele (8), Dier (6), Eriksen (8), Alli (7), Lamela (8), Kane (8)

Subs: Lucas (5), Son (5), Wanyama (5)

Man of the match: Mousa Dembele

Higuain should have completed his hat-trick with a second penalty that he smashed against the crossbar on the stroke of half-time, and Christian Eriksen made Juve pay with a low free-kick that found the bottom corner in the 71st minute.

The last time Spurs were in Italy for a Champions League knockout game they stole a 1-0 win over AC Milan in the San Siro and this time they have two crucial away goals to put them in a commanding position ahead of the return leg at Wembley on March 7.

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Yet Tottenham’s start to the game could not have been worse, with sluggish defending leading to a free-kick from which Miralem Pjanic setup a superb Higuain volley after just two minutes.

Harry Kane rounds Gianluigi Buffon before scoring
Harry Kane rounds Gianluigi Buffon before scoring

Seven minutes later, another intense Juve burst into the box drew a rash challenge from Ben Davies, who brought down Federico Bernadeschi and allowed Higuain to score his second from the penalty spot.

Tottenham’s response was superb though, and they deserved to be level at the break after Kane’s cool drop of the shoulder took him past Buffon and he found the empty net on 35 minutes.

Mousa Dembele bossed the midfield and Erik Lamela, one of two changes along with Serge Aurier, shared the creative spark with Christian Eriksen, who forced Buffon into a save with a ferocious shot from distance.

Team news

Spurs made two changes from the north London derby as Aurier and Lamela replaced Trippier and Son. Juventus were without the injured Dybala.

After Higuain’s second spot-kick hit the bar, following Serge Aurier’s foul on Douglas Costa on the break, Juve improved in the second half and Mario Mandzukic forced Hugo Lloris into two good saves with close-range headers.

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But it was Eriksen who rippled the net for the final time, finding the bottom corner with a free-kick that took a slight deflection after Alli was fouled on the edge of the box. Lucas Moura came on late in the game for his debut as Spurs saw out the draw that gives them the edge in the tie.

Opta stats

  • Juventus have failed to win a Champions League home game after being 2+ goals ahead for the just the second time and the first time since April 1999 – losing 2-3 to Man Utd after being 2-0 up in the opening 11 minutes (semi-final second-leg).
  • Prior to Harry Kane’s goal, Gianluigi Buffon had not conceded a goal for 694 consecutive minutes for Juventus and Italy (Previously conceding against Sweden in November).
  • Tottenham are the first team to concede two first-half penalties in the Champions League knockout stages since Milan in April 2012 v Barcelona.
  • Kane has equalled the record for the most goals scored by an English player in a single Champions League season (7), level with Steven Gerrard in 2008-09.
  • Dele Alli has provided 19 assists for Harry Kane for club and country; no player has set-up more goals for the Englishman.
  • Gonzalo Higuain is the third player in Champions League history to score a brace before 10 mins of a game after Heimo Pfeifenberger v AEK Athens in November 1994 and Julio Cruz v Spartak Moscow in October 2006.
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Man of the match – Mousa Dembele

While Eriksen was excellent for Spurs through his range of passing and his equalising goal, Dembele was crucial in controlling the midfield. The 30-year-old produced another impressive display and had more touches (116), completed more passes (94) and made the joint-most tackle (four) of any player in the game.

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